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Jan 17, 2012:

Our Bicycle's Epic "Vacation"

Customs Update: NO LONGER!

After more than a month of being apart, we are a "family" again. That is, Tauru, Christi and our bike (which, by the way needs a name!) - together, at last.

You know the story from our point of view:

  • Dec 6 - Denied flight on AeroMexico.
  • Dec 9 - Shipped bike via UPS.
  • Dec 11 - We arrived in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
  • Dec 14 - We arrived in Ushuaia, Argentina.
  • Dec 15 - Bike arrived in Buenos Aires.
  • Dec 19 - Initial date of delivery, but no bike.
  • Dec 20 - Called to inquire. ETA: tomorrow.
  • Dec 22 - Called UPS and informed of Customs problem.
  • Dec 28 - Engaged a customs broker. Received required paperwork.
  • Dec 29 - Took paperwork to notary. Required overnight for BA stamp.
  • Dec 30 - Sent notarized paperwork overnight to UPS.
  • Dec 31 - Celebrated New Years Eve!
  • Jan 2 - UPS received paperwork.
  • Jan 11 - FINALLY, Customs released the bike. ETA: 48-72 hours.
  • Jan 12 - Bike arrived in Ushuaia.
  • Jan 16 - 4pm: UPS tracker showed that bike was delivered and signed by a "Juan Martin Cornejos." Who is JMC? Bike still nowhere to be found!
  • Jan 16 - 7pm: Bicycle delivered to La Posta Hostel!
  • Jan 16 - 8pm: Bicycle reunited with us!

Sunday (Jan 15th) began with rain and our usual ritual of firing up the stove to brew up coffee in the tent's vestibule. But the stove had a pathetic mixture of flames, hissing air, and kerosene. We had to move it out of the vestibule as flames flare up. Eventually, though, the water boiled and coffee was made. The intermittent rain was cold as we finished our morning coffee.

It was Sunday, and so we thought about going to the "panaderia" for fracturas. But we'd go after the drizzle stopped.

All of the sudden, from outside, "Fracturas! Fracturas!"

What? Can it be? No.... but, yes! Yves, a French cyclists we've been hanging out with here at La Pista campground, had gone to the panaderia and picked up fracturas for us! Fracturas delivered to our tent... and we're still in our sleeping bags?

Animal instinct overcomes us. Christi, in her excitement, attempts to swallow the lot in one gulp.

Tauru senses his precious fracturas are in danger and wrestles them back to his side of the tent.

A moment of pause and some civility returns. We set the "table" for a Sunday meal. Yum, FRACTURAS!

As is Ushuaia, the weather changes on a dime! Tauru tries to fix the stove... again, for the 100th time! With help from a cycle touring couple, the stove comes back to life.

And here they are: Melissa and Justin from California. They arrived in Ushuaia after riding their bikes from Lima, Peru. But we congratulate them on more than just that - Justin just proposed to Melissa in Punta Arenas some 300 miles back! Best wishes!

They have their own outdoor education program called Inspire Out. They are super awesome people!!!

After a fun weekend hanging out with new friends, it is now Monday and time for them to ride on.

A pang of sadness overcomes us as they roll away. Will we ride out, too?

...and our bike?

Tauru sips his cocoa. At least the stove is working again. But where is our bike?

The weather-gods are good today, so we wash all of our laundry. Optimistic for the bike to come so we can start?

Tauru makes another cup of cocoa. Why not?

But thoughts of the bike consume him. Where? Where?

All this time, the bike has been on its own vacation and then jailed!

La bici! La bici! Esta aqui! (See yesterday's update for its arrival.)

There she is: tired after her long and weary journey. Home at last! She rests by La Casa.

It's nice to have bicycle parts lying about our campground. Never again will we part!

Time to put her back together. This box has been under our other vestibule since the 14th of December.

The plants have grown around it.

Tauru lifts the box and discovers that even it has left an indelible mark.

We wonder what it looks like under our tent!

We open the box like kids on Christmas morning. We don't even remember what all is inside!

Our family portrait. Happiness at last!

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